Time Machine is not as safe as they say. Is it me or anyone else have issues with it?

Silvina3a

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2012
4
0
London
Hi everyone-

1) I lost more than 50GB of pictures from my iPhoto library. The iPhoto library is missing in my hard drive and in Time Machine back up. No Genius rep could not find it either. Unfortunately Time Machine back up did not have the files either. Something went wrong. Genius rep could not explain the reason for that. He said that the Hard drive I bought in Apple Store might be corrupted. Could this be possible?

2) He also said that one must leave 20% of the hard drive empty, otherwise, the hard drive might get corrupted. My macbook was less than 5 % empty when I lost the iPhoto library. Could this be the case for loosing the iPhoto library?

3) I dont trust iPhoto and Time Machine any longer. Any other suggestions for saving/backing up my photos from now on? Should I do it manually as in the old days? (the only photos I could recover are the ones I saved manually in a folder in my macbook)

4) I might need to pay a data recovery in order to get my pictures back, Genius rep suggested. Could you please recommend good names for a data recovery company? I live in Central London.

Thanks for reading,
Sil
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
1) I lost more than 50GB of pictures from my iPhoto library. The iPhoto library is missing in my hard drive and in Time Machine back up. No Genius rep could not find it either. Unfortunately Time Machine back up did not have the files either. Something went wrong. Genius rep could not explain the reason for that. He said that the Hard drive I bought in Apple Store might be corrupted. Could this be possible?
Sure, it's possible that a drive could be corrupted or damaged, resulting in a loss of data.
2) He also said that one must leave 20% of the hard drive empty, otherwise, the hard drive might get corrupted. My macbook was less than 5 % empty when I lost the iPhoto library. Could this be the case for loosing the iPhoto library?
This part is false. For better performance, it's recommended that you leave some free space on your drive. At least 10% is good, more is better. However, failure to maintain that much free space doesn't corrupt a drive.
3) I dont trust iPhoto and Time Machine any longer. Any other suggestions for saving/backing up my photos from now on?
I prefer Carbon Copy Cloner and it's never failed to be completely reliable for me. Overall, I think Time Machine is quite reliable for most users. No software is perfect, however, and there are always other possible causes for data loss, such as hardware issues or user error.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,257
6,131
"Any other suggestions for saving/backing up my photos from now on?"

Yes, there is.
It is very easy.
It is relatively cheap.

1. Get one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
(many items shown, they all work the same, pick one you like that's cheap, getting a USB3-equipped model would be a plus)

2. Get one or more "bare" SATA hard drives from the vendor of your choice (sometimes you can even scrounge up a used one from a friend)

3. Get the FREE CarbonCopyCloner app from:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html

Put the drive in the dock, plug it in, turn it on.
Initialize the drive using Disk Utility.
Launch CCC. On the left, choose your source drive (internal).
On the right choose your backup drive (docked drive).
Choose to backup everything and let CCC do its thing.

When it's finished, you'll have an identical "clone" of your internal drive. You can even boot from the backup while it's in the dock.

If you need more storage space than one drive can provide, just take one bare drive out of the dock, and put another one in.

Suggestion -- make TWO backups and "rotate" them. If you have somewhere you trust "off-site" you can store a hard drive, keep one of the backups there.

CCC backups are bootable and in POFF (plain ol' finder format). If you need one or more files, just mount the backup, locate what you need in the finder, and copy it over.

You can even do a complete "restore" from a CCC backup by just "cloning it back" to the internal hard drive.

For several years I have been warning of the dangers of Time Machine right here on MR. You are but one more example of why it "looks simple for the beginner", but often can fail a user in a "moment of extreme need".

Do what I said as posted above, and you won't have such problems any more.
 

Sital

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2012
1,849
354
New England
Hi everyone-

1) I lost more than 50GB of pictures from my iPhoto library. The iPhoto library is missing in my hard drive and in Time Machine back up. No Genius rep could not find it either. Unfortunately Time Machine back up did not have the files either. Something went wrong. Genius rep could not explain the reason for that. He said that the Hard drive I bought in Apple Store might be corrupted. Could this be possible?

2) He also said that one must leave 20% of the hard drive empty, otherwise, the hard drive might get corrupted. My macbook was less than 5 % empty when I lost the iPhoto library. Could this be the case for loosing the iPhoto library?

3) I dont trust iPhoto and Time Machine any longer. Any other suggestions for saving/backing up my photos from now on? Should I do it manually as in the old days? (the only photos I could recover are the ones I saved manually in a folder in my macbook)

4) I might need to pay a data recovery in order to get my pictures back, Genius rep suggested. Could you please recommend good names for a data recovery company? I live in Central London.

Thanks for reading,
Sil

So do you think that TM is responsible for the missing iPhoto library? If so, how? (I'm not implying you're wrong, I honestly want to know). If it is due to a corrupt hard drive, I wouldn't expect TM to have backed it up. But as the others have mentioned, Carbon Copy Cloner is great. I use it to make bootable clones every so often, but use TM for my daily backups. Maybe I need to rethink that strategy.
 

teleromeo

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2006
1,286
34
kidnapped by aliens
I prefer Carbon Copy Cloner and it's never failed to be completely reliable for me. Overall, I think Time Machine is quite reliable for most users. No software is perfect, however, and there are always other possible causes for data loss, such as hardware issues or user error.
I agree with that. Some time ago the hard disk of my MacBook Pro failed and it took hours to be up and running again after I installed a new one. Time machine is great to find lost or deleted files and solve minor problems but when you face big trouble CCC gives you a bootable copy of your mac. Just connect it, restart with it and you have your backup available to restore.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,707
266
Oregon
To be safe you need at least two backups, and one of them needs to be off-site. TimeMachine is just a first step. I use it as well as alternating cloned drives, kept offsite. I use SuperDuper! which is now less expensive ($28) than CarbonCopyCloner ($40) since the later went commercial. And to be "extra sure" I also subscribe to CrashPlan to cloud backup important files.
 

LeandrodaFL

macrumors 6502a
Apr 6, 2011
962
1
Friend, heres what happened

Time Machine is a great software. The loss of you data is due to another glitch. Now, was you Time Machine set to every hour, or were you using it manually? Nevertheless, Tim Machine does have a "window" and if something goes wrong whtini this window, you lose your files.

I grantee you there is no better software to upgrade hard drvie then using a Time Machine Backup

Now, its a good idea to run a 2nd backup, one that is continuouslly. That means that wehenver you change a file in your PC, the backup does that too in the second. Mopst users recomned CARbon Copy, and its probably a great software. I use Memeo. Its paid, but I got it for free, and I love it.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I've never had an issue with TM or my Time Capsule...BUT..I also backup mission critical data and projects to my Pegasus..If my TC's hdd were to fail, and as has been pointed out above, they do, not more than any other drive, but all hdd's are fallible...It's best to have double backups of your really important work.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,420
759
3. Get the FREE CarbonCopyCloner app from:
http://www.bombich.com/download.html
As of version 3.5, CCC is no longer free. What's new in CCC: Version 3.5
I grantee you there is no better software to upgrade hard drvie then using a Time Machine Backup
That's your opinion. TM can't make a bootable backup, which CCC and SuperDuper! can. If your drive fails and you have a TM backup, you have a restore process to go through. With a CCC or SD! bootable clone, you simply boot from the backup drive and you're up and running again.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,334
248
Sorry 'bout your loss.

I don't think TM is the solution for all backups. There are also clones and just plain old archiving. Clones often are overkill, since a simple copy will often do.

With photos you want backups of original files. It's easy to do that manually as part of your workflow since they have to be imported/copied from some source anyway; they usually are born on your computer. Just copy to an external (and the cloud, to be really safe) and at least your originals are preserved.

Consider using Aperture for photos. It has its own backup capabilities via Vaults.

And test the backup. One drawback of TM, in my opinion, is that it's easy to forget to do that. On the other hand, option-opening iPhoto and going into your backup library will show you instantly whether it's OK.

Beside Aperture, consider at least iPhoto Library Manager; it gives you some of the options of manipulating libraries that Aperture has.

And don't forget plain old free Backup. It's included with Mac system software (my version is now 3.2) and you can create your own custom backups with it. Don't know why more people don't use it.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,707
266
Oregon
And don't forget plain old free Backup. It's included with Mac system software (my version is now 3.2) and you can create your own custom backups with it. Don't know why more people don't use it.
It came with .Mac and MobileMe. Never was "free" and doesn't come with any systems, at least none I've ever bought.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,257
6,131
"As of version 3.5, CCC is no longer free. What's new in CCC: Version 3.5"

Version 3.4.6 is still free to use and is downloadable from the URL that I provided above.